Elizabeth Tinglof - A Thin Thread To Balance - 2018
A Thin Thread to Balance addresses the process of grief through conversations around gender, exposure, and symbolic penance. The primary sculpture within the installation will be an abstracted human torso made of resin and covered in areas with silver leaf, giving a contrast through the materials of the precious and the toxic, attached to a traditional dressmaking mannequin stand surrounded by a wire “cage crinoline.” The steel hoop-style petticoat made of wire has been part of the Western-world’s fashion-profile for women since the 1850s and continues to be used in contemporary designs, including wedding and ball gowns. By displaying such an iconic fashion element for women, directly connected to the raw and disturbing torso, the observer will both be drawn in for a closer look while also being equally repelled. In addition to the main sculptural piece, an intricate, twisted wire element will emanate from the back of the torso, stretching from one end of the space to the other, climbing up the walls to the ceiling creating a vine-like quality. While the wire element will be intrusive to the space, there will also be a performative aspect to this element, where the artist will continue to build up the wire vines; twisting, shaping and allowing them to grow throughout the week of the exhibition, illustrating the never-ending process of grief itself. The expansive wire vine symbolizes the destructive nature of the “wild vine,” while also showing growth though the performative penitent act of the laborious twisting and shaping of wire. Combining the symbolic object with the self creates a duality to the exposure and speaks to penance not so much as a Judaea-Christian definition, but one more connected to Indian religious traditions, where the term changes from penance to “tapas,” focusing more on enlightenment then the ritualistic restaging of pain and struggle.